Advocates Advocating Christine Thelker © 2020 Dementia Event For This I Am Grateful Good Grief Living well with Dementia Silver Linings Stress

Easter is Upon Us

Today is the start of the Easter Weekend, today is Passover for many for others they call it Good Friday.

Above the two pictures above are pictures of my mother, running through the bushes, dropping Easter Eggs with all the kids chasing behind. My mother throughout her life had a way of bringing people and community together. Her spirit was infectious, I was blessed to have been given the gift of her. I miss her every day, I talk to her every day and I know her spirit is with me always. Bringing people together brought her so much joy, sharing and spreading joy however she was able. Despite all she had endured in her lifetime, she never lost her ability to be kind and caring and her love of laughter and bringing smiles was something I aspire to be able to do. She was and continues to be my greatest inspiration. If I manage to become half of the person she was, then I will leave this world knowing I have done enough.

It’s funny because lately I have been feeling like I don’t matter, it doesn’t matter if I live or die to anyone but me, well maybe me and God. Then I found a poem in my mom’s handwriting, which if you new my mom, it was the strangest version of english you could imagine, she taught herself, but as kids we learnt to decipher it and I can still read her writing which I am very happy for, it is an ability I have not lost. I was reminded in that poem that my work on earth is not done, and she will be waiting for me when my work on earth is done and that in fact I do matter. It’s important because often we think if we aren’t or cannot contribute in the same ways we once did that we no longer matter. Or because we are alone that we matter less.

Often connections are lost, sometimes by choice or necessity sometimes for reasons we don’t know or understand, but being alone can at times make you feel like you don’t matter to anyone. But you do, if all you do is walk down the street and offer a kind word or smile to someone you matter, you matter to them in that moment, and all we have is this moment right here, right now. Often you will never now how much you did actually matter. I hope that my mom knew how much she mattered, how much she contributed and the way she touched so many lives, and that she matters still today, and that she will matter forever more.

So as we start this Easter Weekend, I hope you all know that whatever you do, wherever you are, you are enough and you matter.

I also hope as this weekend begins and many are having get togethers, with family and friends and that if that includes someone living with Dementia or any other kind of illness or disability, that you take a minute to chat with them to see how you can support them to attend, whether they can only manage an hour, whether is means you let them know if they need a quiet corner to retreat to that you are and have that available for them. Many times people with Dementia want to attend but an hour in they are exhausted, usually this is from all the many things many don’t think about, many conversations happening at one time, background noises and conversations, pots and pans banging. Really just what at one time would be normal sounds of a get together now overwhelm the brain. Just trying to follow a conversation can be exhausting never many multiple conversations happening simultaneously, it creates anxiety for many without any illness or disability so that multiples for those with and often creates a situation where many forgo events all together.

So take a few extra minutes before hand find out how to support someone to take part to whatever capacity they feel they can, and if they can’t, please don’t make them feel bad for it, instead offer to drop off some food or treats either before hand or after, and arrange for a visit in a quieter manageable environment with them. After all if you stop in all your business for just a few minutes and think about what you would hope others would do for you, then it’s really not that hard to do for those we care about. If they do manage to make an appearance, be happy to have them, be happy to accommodate them, be happy to have them leave when they deem it necessary.

We are always talking about the importance of self care, but often when people try to implement that, at times that seem inappropriate to us, we put pressure on them to ” just stay for a while longer”, or you don’t have to run away so soon, or you’ve hardly had a chance to talk to everyone, or just come for a time, and maybe through your eyes that may be, but through theirs they have enjoyed, and seen all they manage in this setting. Just let them know that they are cared about, that they are enough and they matter, no matter how much they are able to give or provide or be present for.

So I hope you all have an abundance of love and kindness showered on you this Easter Weekend, however you celebrate and with whoever you celebrate with. For me I will be spending it quietly with my little dog, who showers me with unconditional love every day.

By WWW.Chrissy's

I am an advocate for people with dementia in Canada and globally, having been diagnosed with younger onset dementia myself a few years ago.

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